No, I haven't disappeared from the online world, though for some reason I haven't blogged since new year's eve and I've forgotten a Meowy Monday. Partially it's been because I've had fun with a couple of "late christmas gifts" I got offered during boxing week.
During christmas, Karin from swedish bead shop Fru Pärla asked me if I wanted to have some new rizo beads to play with and blog about. Fru Pärla was the first swedish shop to get the new beads that were presented by Sabine Lippert in December. If you're into beadweaving, you've probably heard about these new rice-shaped top-drilled little beads. While they've been developed by and for bead weavers, they do work very well in all sorts of beading/jewellery making, from stringing to chain maille. As I hope to show here.
These are just my first designs: I still have beads left and hope to use them soon.
This isn't the first thing I made, but of the designs here it's the pièce de résistance. My own original design, but most of all a design where everything just fell into place. No frustration at all: no ripping up, no re-thinking the whole thing, no design issues at all (apart from choosing whether or not to add the big daggers). If only it was always like that!
I was really keeping my fingers crossed the colours would work as I picked them out at night in poor light... The preciosa rivoli is crystal honey, the rizo and seeds topaz, the 8 mm daggers crystal apricot and then I don't know the colour name of the 16 mm daggers.
This is actually the first thing I made, partially to show that the beads can be used for more than just bead weaving. It's a simple 2-in-1 chain maille bracelet with two rizos added to each jump ring. Maybe it'd look better with slightly smaller rings, but this is the only size I had. Still like it, though, and the topaz amber rizos have a ½ coat with a metallic finish that matches the rings and clasp beautifully.
Then I tried a few variations of the rizo chain, adding e. g. flower bead dangles, drops etc. However, the next design came about when I wanted to vary sizes rather than shapes. So why not add daggers? Well, it didn't turn out as planned at all as I forgot that even 11 mm daggers are too big to hang as freely and dangle as easily as e. g. rizos, drops or even long magatamas. Instead they form a much more stylized pattern. To keep that interesting new pattern still, the chain was turned into an earring rather than a bracelet.
I don't wear earrings so I'm not sure that the ideal length for this one would be. Any suggestions? Longer, shorter, as it is?
(I'm considering doing a new free tutorial for either the bracelet or the earring -- anyone want that? And if so, which of the two would you rather have instructions to? The earrings might need a little tweaking first, though...)
Last -- and least -- I made a tiny beaded bead. I'm thinking of making a handful and use them as space beads in a necklace or bracelet so it isn't a finished design, but I still wanted to show them now that I got photos of the other stuff I'm been making.
By the way: the colour used in the beaded bead and the earring is called emerald azuro and if you love jewel tones, you might want to check it out. Lovely emerald greens and metallic dark blues in that finish.
I'm going to play some more with my rizo beads today and hopefully I'll also get to work on few things with things I got in a blog partner programme (more on that later!). Then I hope to get some time to work on my first Bead Journal Project panel. So plenty of fun things to do. Don't feel like I'm on a creative roll at the moment, but I'm still being creative and that's a step in the right direction. The year seems to be beginning just fine. Not with a big, fabulous bang, but relaxed and filled with little progresses. And that's pretty decent, isn't it? Whether big or small, every step you take is a good thing. Even if it's slow, it propells you forward.